The last time I felt this way, I wanted to leave the country, and I am glad that I am able to this time.
I remember the last time I came back to Russia, I felt the blanket of home country melt my muscles with ease and placate my anxiety. It’s my culture that has dissipated more and more with age and with my father’s resentment towards the way a Russian woman can break your heart. Since I left, there have been scents that waft over me, and I’m back there for the moment I’m in them. Cigarettes, gasoline, pollution, the evil smell of the subway; they all are home to me. My mother’s friends with yellowed and/or blackened teeth from dirty nights of smoking, booze, and women. The gypsies with their children all playing the same song that gets stuck in your head, and maybe I want to dance and swing in circles when I hear it. The church that my mother was baptized in, and years later, so were my brother and I. But as he drank the blood of Christ, he spat it out, and we have crosses around our necks to commemorate that day. Of course, the man who jumped from the 21st window of our apartment complex. His pearl white face with frozen iced blue eyes so saturated they were beautiful contrasting the river of fresh white crimson blood that swam down the parking lot.
But this time, I’ll have rolls of film and a camera.
Second cousins to creep through the night with and fill my stomach with toxic vinegar that gives me such a sharpened smirk.
Velvet wine with my mother.
And most importantly, time with the family that has given me their blood and given me tha guts that I got.